Manchester United have closed in on our first signing of the summer after agreeing a £16million deal for Blackburn’s highly-rated defender Phil Jones.
It’s been widely speculated that Sir Alex Ferguson would be making major changes to our squad this summer in order to make key changes to refresh our team and bring in a bunch of young talented hungry players who our team could be built around.
Not many United fans around the world would have expected us to have captured Jones’s signature to make him our first signing of the summer. But with Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs all wanting to sign the England Under 21 centre-half, Sir Alex has had to act now or risk missing out on Jones’s signature for good.
News first broke of our interest for Jones a couple of months ago as a result of the defender’s form for club and country in England’s U21s.
However, very few United fans and pundits in the media believed that we would stand any chance of buying him, as Jones only signed a new five-year contract at Ewood Park in February and that he’d be at Blackburn for at least another season.
It’s believed that that new contract contained a release clause, which United have met.
Arsenal and Liverpool were also close to signing Jones who had a meeting with the Londoners on Tuesday night. He has though opted to join us instead and it’s a very interesting transfer for a number of reasons.
1) Jones is a highly rated young English player and whilst obviously we will sign players from aboard, it’s good to see we will (as we’ve always done at United) give English/Home-Grown talent a chance.
2) The fact the deal’s been done so quickly as even with England’s U21′s due to play in the UEFA European U21′s Championship, it’s clear that we had to swoop now or our rivals would have signed him.
& 3) With Jones now joining Chris Smalling at the club, we could incredibly have the future of the heart of England’s defence in the very near future playing for us, forming what on paper could be a great partnership for us.
I have to say I’m really pleased with the signing, as Jones looks to have all the elements about him to a great player.
The fact he’s broke into Rovers team in such a short space time, after only making his Premier League debut against Chelsea where he kept Drogba, Anelka and Lampard at bay in only March says alot about his talent.
Jones starred against us at Ewood Park this season in our 1-1 draw that clinched our 19th League Championship and as you’re see in this video, made several key blocks and tackles that at the time showed his class and potential.
This is one transfer that had the #MUFC fans on twitter glued to their screens. As one moment everyone thought that Jones was of to Liverpool, before news broke of him having a medical with us. By the end of it though, everyone seemed to be pleased about this signing given the talent that Jones has.
Of course Jones will not find it easy to disrupt United’s first-choice centre-back pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. He’ll face competition from Smalling and Jonny Evans, but will learn alot at Old Trafford and can only get better as a player.
Not many fans would have thought Smalling would have made such an impact in his first season, whilst we can’t put too much pressure on Jones, whose to say he won’t make such an impressive impact early on in his United career too?
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87